Justin Bieber sold the rights to his entire music catalog. It was announced on Jan. 24 that Bieber sold the rights to six albums, including his newest one, “Justice,” to Hipgnosis Songs Fund. The deal was estimated to be worth $200 million by the Wall Street Journal.
“This acquisition ranks among the biggest deals ever made for an artist under the age of 70,” said Merck Mercuriadis, chief executive of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, sourced from People Magazine. “At only 28 years of age, he is one of a handful of defining artists of the streaming era that has revitalized the entire music industry.”
Hipgnosis now owns Bieber’s publishing copyrights, writer’s share, neighboring rights and a share of royalties from the master recordings. Anytime a song is played publicly, the company will be making money.
Justin Bieber has many reasons for selling his rights at such a young age.
Bieber said in an Instagram video on June 10, 2022 that he has Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. According to Mayo Clinic, this occurs when shingles takes over a nerve near your ears, causing facial paralysis in half of the face and hearing loss.
The artist was unable to complete the North American leg of the “Justice” tour. Due to his condition, he will be taking a break from performing. In the video, he said that he plans to take this time to rest and work towards recovery.
Bieber’s deal is unique because he is only 28 years old. It is a common trend that artists sell the rights to their music catalogs when they are older and having fewer performances such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Stevie Nicks.
“Every investment has its risk, and here, they’re investing in a catalog of intellectual property but it is tied to a person. I think that is really unique,” said Chaz Celaya, director of Commercial Music and assistant professor of music at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Several younger artists have joined the trend recently such as Imagine Dragons and Shakira.
Celaya said that he thinks more artists are selling their catalogs because it is not guaranteed the market will stay high. He thinks that Bieber’s advisors thought it was a good time to sell the property they have the rights to sooner rather than later.
It can also be a risk for the artist to take the lump-sum payment instead of keeping his rights because he could have made more money from his royalty payments. Celaya said that even with the risk, there is a lot of value to a lump-sum payment because it can provide safety for artists.
“You’re shifting the risk to the investors. I think there is security and freedom with the lump-sum because you can do other things that you might want to do,” said Celaya.
Beliebers do not need to worry. Bieber still has a future as an artist. All of the music he produces from Jan. 2022 and on will bring him royalty income if he chooses to keep his rights.
“It’s going to be ok, and I have hope. I trust God, and I trust that this is all for a reason,” said Bieber in his Instagram post.
Written By: Isabel Cheeseman